Surprise! Trenyce Gets Hook on 'Idol'
Studdard's selection as an almost-goner brought boos from both the studio audience and the judges, who made sure to give TV-viewing voters a piece of their mind.
"This is crazy, dude!" judge Randy Jackson said about Ruben's near-miss from getting tossed. "I don't know what's going on in America, but this is not good."
Judge Paula Abdul: "This is absolutely ridiculous."
And sober judge Simon Cowell: "We've given the public the right to vote -- you have to respect their decisions."
For her part, the 23-yeear-old, whose real name is Lashundra Cobbins, appeared gracious in defeat. "This is the greatest accomplishment in my life. I came to be a star and that's what I'm going to be," she said.
Her mother, Linda Cobbins, waxed philosophical about her daughter's fate. "Somebody had to go," Cobbins tells Memphis's Commercial Appeal newspaper. "I thought it would be next week, but they decided to do it this week ... She still will do better than the rest of them because she was better than the rest of them. I'm excited she got exposure."
Besides Studdard, three contestants now remain. They are Kimberley Locke, 25, of Nashville; Joshua Gracin, 22, of Oceanside, Calif.; and Clay Aiken, 24, of Raleigh, N.C.
And in other "Idol" news, it was announced Wednesday that the second-season finalists will take to the road for nearly two months' worth of concerts this summer. Performers and venues have yet to be finalized, but the 39-date tour is set to kick off July 8 in St. Paul and wind up Aug. 31 in Anaheim, Calif.
Other dates include Chicago, July 9; Philadelphia, July 27; Atlanta, Aug. 9; and Seattle, Aug. 26. Tickets go on sale May 16-18.